The 80-mile stretch of coastline south of Cancun on the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico -- now called the Riviera Maya -- has undergone a remarkable transformation over the past decade, becoming Mexico's fastest-growing resort area. Places like Playa de Carmen and Tulum have gone from small towns to booming resort developments.
The tourist destination is now divided into three main areas: the archaeological site, the pueblo or town, and the "hotel zone," or strip of beach lined with small cabanas.
Several years ago, Tulum Pueblo was a quiet village 2 km. from the archaeological site, and tourism outside of the ruins was limited to a few small shops and simple cabanas on the beach. As of 2005 population of Tulum Pueblo has grown to over 40,000 permanent inhabitants. The "hotel zone" of boutique hotels on the Tulum beach has grown to over 40 small hotels, most of them cabanas built in the traditional Mayan style with thatched palm roofs. The hotel zone is mostly filled with tourists whereas Tulum Pueblo is mostly a Mexican town, with some tourists eating in the restaurants and bars at night.
The Pueblo, or town, is located on highway 307 about a kilometer off the beach. There are more and more services being offered as the town begins to flourish from the massive influx of visitors and year round residents as well. There are cool little restaurants, bars, and internet cafes popping up everywhere, as well as bigger Mexican chains such as the grocery store, San Francisco, the restaurant 100% Natural, and the popular internet café El Point. Popular to kiteboarders you will often see the skies speckled with color on windy days as the adrenaline junkies fly high off the coastline and it is also home to the sacred cenotes of the Maya, archaeological sites, protected parks, great food, and a laid back "Eco-Chic" attitude.
Tulum, Mexico is about an hour and a half drive south of the Cancun airport, and just 40 minutes south of Playa del Carmen. With the Riviera Maya booming it is just a matter of time before Tulum gets swept up in the gold rush. With international developers like the Kor Group, and major residential developments like Kukulkan Residential Zone, Tulum will soon be a booming metropolis with increased services, a more concrete infrastructure, and a more stable community; which in turn guarantees investment and business longevity.
Home to one of the most visited archaeological sites in The Riviera Maya; Tulum has much to offer travelers from all walks of life, travel styles, and budgets.
Tulum hotel zone
There are pristine limestone beaches with the bright blue Caribbean Sea sparkling in the background that will surely appeal to any beach dweller, sun worshiper, or professional leisure specialist. Tulum has coined the phrase "Eco Chic" to describe its laid back beachy attitude, and its trend setting cabana style resorts.